Long-awaited: Bethesda has long been the dominant player in the first-person RPG genre with titles like Skyrim, Morrowind, and Fallout 4, but no king reigns forever. Obsidian challenged Bethesda’s dominance with the release of The Outer Worlds in 2019, and it looks to be looking to do so again in the upcoming Avowed: its first fortune in a medieval first-person fantasy RPG. If new gameplay rumors emerge, the team may only have a chance for the crown.
So far, we haven’t really heard much about Avowed. We saw the only CG trailer last July, and we were told that it will take place in the same world as the Obsidian Pillars of Eternity series – Eora – but that’s about it. Otherwise, we just had to speculate.
This is still true to some extent, but the people at Windows Central reportedly found out about the game early on through their sources (presumably some anonymous Obsidian developers). Reporter Jez Corden not only saw the gameplay, but also learned a thing or two. spicy details about some of the main Avowed gaming systems.
Apparently, the game will feature “multi-class playstyles” and a Skyrim-style flowing class system. This means dual wielding spells and weapons (we saw a bit of this in the CG trailer), as well as the ability to shape your playstyle as the game progresses. You can be an armed dagger, a backstabbing rogue, a sword-and-board warrior, a pure mage, an archer, or some combination of these.
As for the types of spells you can expect to see, Obsidian wisely draws inspiration from his work with Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2. There are fan favorite spells like Fireball and Jolting Touch (DND’s equivalent of Pillars Shocking Grasp) and just as edgy , as expected. What about nonmagical abilities? Corden says that fighter-style characters can kick and shield kicks, though it’s hard to say how impressive that will be. Will it be more like a physical fight of the Dark Messiah, or closer to Oblivion, where every weapon hits like wet noodles? Hope for the first.
Either way, combat isn’t the only thing to expect in Avowed. It is reported that the game also features swimming, destructible environments and the ability to use magic to interact with the world around you – for example, you can burn wooden barriers and watch fire bursts along floors and walls.
If true, these features would be notable improvements over Obsidian’s past work with The Outer Worlds and Bethesda with Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. All three franchises have pretty static environments that really can’t be played in any meaningful way. For example, you cannot launch a fireball in the middle of the forest and watch the flames spread in Skyrim.
On the visual side, despite the darker aesthetic in the Avowed CG trailer, Corden says the gameplay he saw was actually surprisingly vibrant and colorful, with loads of “fluorescent cave mushrooms” and “green forests inundated with giant flora ”. This sounds good to me, but hopefully it doesn’t sound like The Outer Worlds’ heavily saturated color palette. After all, the Pillars of Eternity universe is much more serious.
As great as all this sounds, we still have to treat these details with a grain of salt. None of this seems too far from the realm of possibility, given Obsidian’s new, wealthy parent company – Microsoft – but until we get to see the gameplay ourselves, it might be better to keep our expectations in check.
If we’re lucky, we won’t have to wait long to see what Obsidian has in store for us. 2022 is just around the corner and the studio will have plenty of opportunities to showcase Avowed in all its glory, assuming the game is almost ready.